I’m Chanting As We Speak

For years I have had a recurring dream. It’s been recurring for about ten years, bouncing away in my sleeping brain – my very own 3.14159 and so on and so on.  My very own piece of Pi.

In this dream I am in a house I have never lived in yet the house is very familiar to me, right down to the way the texture of the wallpaper feels, right down to the smell of the hallway, windblown with maple leaves from the tree on the lawn at the front.

I say the same thing every time I have this dream – ‘I know this isn’t my house but it feels like it is…’ and in a strange way it is my house…after all, I have been dreaming about it for over ten years.

It happens just as I begin to claim ownership of the house, just as I settle in. There is a creaking sound, a splitting sound and the floors cave in. There are fragments of wood, concrete and steel everywhere. The air is black and gritty. I can smell the deep, musty earth of the foundations and then suddenly I am falling, fast, like Alice down the rabbit hole; as swiftly as if I have been shot from a cannon or have mastered travelling on the time-space continuum.

I think Tim Burton directs my recurring dream. In fact, I’m fairly sure of it. There are lots of flashing lights and starbursts and exploding rainbows as I fall; along with interjections from such famous luminaries as Bugs Bunny looking me straight in the eye and saying : “Goodbye cruel world.”

Even though Tim Burton directs my recurring dream there is no Johnny Depp. I haven’t seen him once in all the years I’ve been falling through the psychedelic air. Tim is also unable to stop me from landing – bouncing, scraping and jarring on rocks. And waking up all sweaty and dishevelled and feeling like I’ve been screaming.

So why am I telling you about this dream? Well, over the past few weeks I have felt the way I feel in the dream when I land at the bottom….. all panicked and anxious and deeply, deeply bruised. For real. While awake. All feeling like I could quite easily crawl into a hole and never come out again. All feeling like the bottom has well and truly fallen out of my world and I am stuck with rubble in my mouth under the broken floorboards.

I told my friend Gina that part of my recurring dream had come to life and she immediately told me I need to start chanting to keep negative forces at bay. Many of you will know that I have my hippy-trippy elements but that I am not yet fully fledged in such ways of being. I know chanting works for some people as a way of focussing the mind and gaining clarity but I am not entirely comfortable with saying OM every time anxiety claws at the pit of my stomach.

People who say OM a lot make me think of Edina Monsoon from Absolutely Fabulous who tried every trend known to mankind in her chaotic quest for success and enlightenment.

Having said that I have seen how much chanting and meditation has helped Gina. She has been to hell and back and has come out the other side. So I thought I’d give it a try.

Gina told me that chanting would allow me to let go of the fear I am carrying around with me as manifested by the feelings in the recurring dream coming to life. She told me I had to surrender to the divine, that I had to say Om Namo Narayani.  I surrender to the divine…. A bit of a tongue twister along the lines of Red Leather, Yellow Leather but if you really concentrate you can say it several times in a row without slipping up.

I’ve been Om Namo-ing away for a week now and while part of me still feels slightly ridiculous, the other part can see it is working in bringing me a sense of calm. I’m astounded, I really am. I’m so astounded I can’t even think of anything remotely facetious to say about it.

Surrendering to the divine. Maybe it’s what we really need to do in times of trouble.

I’m chanting as we speak…..

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28 thoughts on “I’m Chanting As We Speak

  1. This is a classic example of an anxiety dream. All is well you’ve settled into whatever the new normal is and them bam the floor drops out from beneath you, leaving you to flail and flounder and given the way things have been going lately especially ith hubby’s business , I’m not surprised that your anxiety manifests in your dreams. ( Where IS Johnny Depp when ya need him????)

    But once it starts manifesting itself in waking life, well I think your friend is onto something. I myself do deep methodical breathing when I drive to calm the anxiety. I do it when I feel myself getting upset. and it works, it really does, I made it thru this, past month without anti depressents, without any anxiety attacks and without killing anyone! lol I call that a WIN.! Whatever works for us.! Good luck with it girl.

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    1. Cathy, I’m so glad the breathing works for you. I think meditation and so on is very similar to deep breathing in that it calms us down. The anxiety is a killer, isn’t it? It is so counter-productive and stops us from fixing the thing that causes us the anxiety in the first place. Thank you for your support. It means a lot!

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  2. Hi Selma

    sending you empathy on this. I spent 2001-8 in enforced retreat following a menopause burn-out. And I discovered after a very deep, hard, long journey to the Underworld and back ( book now incubating! ) that the essential message of the whole experience was – “Surrender to the Divine”. It works, whatever method /religious tradition/ spiritual practice you choose as your way of doing so. Very interested to hear the effect your chanting is having. Trust it, I think….

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    1. I really want to read that book, Anne. Sounds inspirational. Hope you get the chance to write it soon. I agree with you 100%. It’s that act of surrendering to that so-called ‘higher power’ that seems to help. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know why it is – but it seems to work. I am beginning to trust it more and more….

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  3. I don’t know about chanting, but I’m a firm believer in doing whatever works. Chant 24-7, chant loudly, chant your heart out. The mind is an amazing organism and can work miracles if we just believe.

    Speaking of the mind, am I having an off day or does your place here have a new look? With columns and everything? And a new zoomy little water taxi? Looks great.

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    1. I am all about doing what works too, Patti. And keeping an open mind. That is so important. And I do think little miracles can come along if we just keep the faith.

      I have had the water taxi up for a while but have tidied up the format of the blog. It was a bit all over the place. Thanks so much!

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  4. What was that song line “…different strokes for different folks…”…each of must find our own method of dealing with such emotions…glad you found one that works for you.

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    1. It’s so true, slpmartin. Whatever works for the individual is definitely the way to go. What this whole process has taught me is that there is always a solution and there are always people out there who are willing to help. It’s all good!

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  5. I’ve never been able to get into the chanting thing but I feel like the quiet, deep breaths are a close cousin … anything to still your mind and anything that works for you. The important thing is to keep trying til you find it.
    Om to you, Sweet Selma, happy & healthy thoughts.

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    1. The quiet, deep breaths are definitely a close cousin, Susan. Stilling the mind is the aim and the breathing does work. And yes, we have to keep trying till e find what works. Thank you for your kindness. It really helps!

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  6. This is amazing and wonderful, Selma! Whenever our lives began to take on the stuff of nightmares and a sense of impending doom, it’s time to address it before we implode. I’ve been there. Surrendering to the divine is absolutely the only thing that has brought me out of hell and to a place of peace. I accep that there is order in life, I accept that I am not ambling about in accidental chaos, I accept that love is the most powerful force in the universe and it guides me! I don’t spend a lot of time trying to define it or even understand it, I just accept it. Chanting produces serenity, prayer produces results, love produces a sense of belonging. You are doing the healthiest thing you could ever do for Selma… that makes me very happy indeed. You will see things begin to change, not so much what happens, but how you let it affect you. All things really do work together for the good in the end! Sending you love across the waters, Josie Xoxo

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    1. I can’t tell you how much your comment means to me, Josie. You have expressed so well what I feel about the whole thing. I really do value your opinion and wisdom. Thank you. THank you. THANK YOU xxxx

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  7. I’ve never chanted either, but I have been able to turn myself over to the universe, and I have found release and comfort in that. I refer it “it” as the universe because I sometimes feel a subtle tipping in my flow, that I’m being helped along in my direction. I suppose chanting forces you to slow down and pay attention to what the divine is offering. Whatever, but surrendering to her rhythms DOES bring comfort, no doubt about it.

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    1. You are so right, Jen. The release and comfort does come along as a result of paying attention to what the divine is offering. I love how you put it. And I love that you get it. Thank you, Jen. Your perspective is so precious to me!

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  8. I know the choking grip of anxiety well, Selma, so empathize and sympathize with you, gal. Don’t let it get to the stage where you can’t get out of bed in the morning. Do whatever it takes to bring you peace now – ask for medical help if you need to.

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  9. Ah the serenity 🙂
    ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.’
    My sister is a big chanting fan though those things don’t work well for me (too much focusing on the body makes me hypervenilate – should see me after yoga or meditation 😉 but I find exercise, brown paper bags, watching birds, gardening and hot baths very soothing. Each to their own. Another good technique is to write a letter to anyone who pisses you off telling them how you really feel and then drop the letter in the river or sea. You have had so many stressful events in the past few years that it is no wonder you are having those types of dreams – I hope things turn around for you and yours – sometimes things just have a habit of falling into place after years of drama – just have to ride out the storm and not fight it too much I suppose – big hugs from me!

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    1. I know what you mean about the chanting, Gabe. I sometimes do feel a bit spaced out as a result…. it may not be completely my cup of tea, but for now I am just going with it. Whatever helps is the order of the day. I love watching the birds too. It soothes me so much. As well as the way sunlight falls on the water in the bay. That is incredibly soothing. Thank you for your beautiful hugs xxx

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  10. wow selma, i cant help but admire the character, the depth, the rawness, in your experience and interpretation of the dream. the thing is, it seems like one would necessarily be accepting of whatever feeling/experience emerges if one is able to voice it. like, this here is how it is, the bottom is falling out. it just seems like saying or writing that is an acceptance in itself.
    nobody ever said acceptance was easy or even felt good. so first the acceptance and then yes the chanting. it reminds one that no situation is ever permanent, belong to the present, especially when chanting or doing whatever brings calm back into focus, one understands something important, something like that essential nature of being

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    1. I didn’t think about acceptance before but now you have made me see it, Tipota, and you are so right. Acceptance is so important. Sometimes I think it is the main means of moving forward. It doesn’t always feel good but it is so necessary. Thank you so much for pointing it out!

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  11. You are onto something. Keep the open mind…the times when I have made life changing breakthroughs were when I opened my mind enough to try something new that was was a little bit out of my comfort zone at first.

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    1. I’ve heard a lot of people say things like ‘Free your mind and the rest will follow’ and I think that’s quite true. Once the mind is calm and focussed it becomes easier to move forward, but getting there to that point of being calm, that’s the trick. I totally get now that the only way to experience a bit of a life change is to step outside of my comfort zone. It’s a little scary, but I’m doing it. Thanks, Timoteo!

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  12. My first thought was to advise you to stop thinking you are a termite who needs to eat houses. But then, I thought, this friend of mine is really serious and the affliction is serious too. So OK, let me tell you, there was a stage in my life when I was a farmer and I could not get going on anything before a ‘more urgent’ matter drew me away,then another drew me away from that until I was walking in circles getting nothing even started, much less finished. The answer was meditation. I guess it works like your chanting. It seems to get the brainwaves into parallel lines so plans can be made and missions accomplished, and all with calm and aplomb! Come to think of it, maybe it is time for me to revisit it. Not much aplomb left. XX

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    1. You have plenty of aplomb, dear Stafford – don’t you worry about that. Just the fact that you can use aplomb in context is impressive enough 😆

      Yeah. I get the whole meditation and related things thing now. It does provide clarity. When there’s a lot to be accomplished and a lot of stress to deal with it can become easy to be scattered – I’ve found the chanting works well to help me get things done plus people think I’m mad because I’m talking to myself and leave me alone in the street. Even the hobos who normally hassle me for money are leaving me alone. YAY. The many benefits of chanting 😉

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  13. I’m glad that we can change methods when we need to. Sometimes meditation works for me, sometimes yoga heals and sometimes just taking a short nap will reboot me. Long spans of chaos are so detrimental, we do need a cabinet full of remedies. I love your writing. Your words are beautifully open and real.

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    1. Yes, Tumblewords. We do need a cabinet full of remedies to counteract those long periods of stress and chaos. Thank you for your kind words ♥

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